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BoatUS By The Numbers 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – The job of the nation’s largest recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), is to make boating better for America’s recreational boaters. To help understand how they do it, here’s an annual look at some noteworthy numbers behind the boating organization.

BoatUS Membership

811,826: Total number of BoatUS members nationwide (annual dues: $25)

25: The number of benefits and services included with BoatUS annual membership, including 24/7 towing dispatch, advocacy and support for boating issues, boating-safety education, and discounts on fuel, transient slips and travel

28.4 feet: Average length of a BoatUS member’s primary boat (BoatUS members own two boats on average)

27: Average number of years of boating experience per BoatUS member

76%: BoatUS members who day cruise, the No. 1 boating activity, followed by fishing (59%), overnight cruising (44%), watersports (26%) and sailing (20%)

24: The number of helpful BoatUS App features that save boaters time and money, from requesting a tow on the water to finding member discounts at local marinas

$0: The cost for BoatUS members to get a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number, the unique nine-digit number that is assigned to vessels and programmed into their DSC-VHF radios to help provide a swift rescue in an emergency ($25 for nonmembers)

1,230: BoatUS Partner Network businesses that provide discounts to BoatUS members on a range of services and goods including marinas, fuel, guides, tackle shops and more

378: BoatUS Partner Network marinas across the United States that offer BoatUS members up to 10 cents off per gallon of fuel

46: The number of national savings partners including West Marine, GEICO, Avis, Budget, Helly Hansen, Dockwa and Sirius XM Marine and more that offer BoatUS members exclusive discounts and special offers

348,435: The number of affordable, high quality graphics that the BoatUS Boat Graphics and Lettering service has produced since 1988.

BoatUS Magazine

608,844: Circulation of BoatUS Magazine, the nation’s largest recreational boating publication

19: The number of YouTube videos BoatUS Magazine editors produced last year, from “How to Read a Marine Chart” to “5 Tips for Preventing Ethanol Problems in Boat Engines”

139,755: The number of hours boaters spent watching BoatUS videos on YouTube last year

3,167,977: The number of times BoatUS videos were viewed last year.

323: The number of editorial pages published over five issues (one year) of BoatUS Magazine, loaded with information to get more out of the boating lifestyle

62: The number of Boating Writers International (BWI) writing excellence awards bestowed to BoatUS Magazine writers since 1997

38: The number of years BoatUS has been helping members avoid boating mistakes through a series of boat damage avoidance articles in every issue of BoatUS Magazine

On-Water, On-Road Towing and Assistance

306: The number of TowBoatUS towing port locations across North America.

626: The number of towboats in the TowBoatUS towing fleet, the nation’s largest

26: The average length in feet of a TowBoatUS response vessel. Most popular towboat brands among the TowBoatUS fleet are 1. Boston Whaler, 2. Zodiac, 3. Safe Boat, 4. Almar and 5. Shamrock

54%: Requests for on-water assistance calls attributed to mechanical breakdown (e.g., engine, transmission, drives), the No. 1 cause for recreational boat breakdowns. 12% were for running aground (No. 2); 9% for battery/electrical issues and for suspected fuel issues tied for No. 3: and engine overheating, 5% (No. 4)

81,557: Annual boater requests made for on-water assistance with the BoatUS App, by cellphone or VHF radio to TowBoatUS 24-hour dispatch centers in Virginia, Florida and local TowBoatUS companies

$800: The nationwide average cost of on-the-water towing service for a non-BoatUS member

$0: Amount BoatUS members paid for covered services with an Unlimited Towing Membership

45: TowBoatUS towing port locations on the Great Lakes region, from Clayton, New York, to Bayfield, Wisconsin

28: TowBoatUS towing port locations on the Pacific Coast from San Diego, California, to the Northern Georgia Strait, British Columbia

12,000: The average breaking strength in pounds of a TowBoatUS response vessel’s towline

6: The number of towing response vessels in the TowBoatUS Charleston on-water towing fleet, all named after women important to the lives of the company’s towing captains (vessel names include RubySallySherry B.MarcelaBig Lou and Cleo Belle).

100: Miles that BoatUS Unlimited Trailer Assist will haul a boat trailer and its tow vehicle to the nearest repair shop or safe area with no out-of-pocket expense to the member (annual fee $15)

9,002: Roadside-assistance companies across the United States and Canada that have the specialized equipment to handle boat trailer breakdowns and provide 24/7 service to BoatUS Unlimited Trailer Assist service members

44%: Requests for roadside Trailer Assist service to the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch centers attributed to flat tires/no spare, the No. 1 reason. Wheel bearings (21%) were second, followed by trailer axle (11%), trailer failure (6%) and tow vehicle failure (5%)

GEICO Insurance

1983: The year BoatUS established its first Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team to assist Houston Yacht Club following the disastrous landfall of Hurricane Alicia. This set the course for BoatUS to become the nation’s expert in hurricane-damage avoidance. As of July 1, 2021 all policies are underwritten by Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO).

50%: How much of a marina’s haulout bill that a GEICO marine insurance policy will pay to help avoid damage from an approaching hurricane (up to $1,000 total)

Up to $500: The amount all GEICO marine insurance policies will reimburse a policyholder for tournament entry fees should an insurance claim cause them to miss or withdraw from a fishing, ski, or wakesports competition

$997,100: The maximum amount you can be held liable for under federal law for fuel-spill damage to the environment — and the amount of coverage that all GEICO marine insurance policies provide

$2.50 to $11.67: The average monthly costs for adding Unlimited TowBoatUS Towing to a GEICO marine insurance policy, based on boat size and location

$250: The deductible paid by a GEICO marine insured on a claim relating to navigational electronics when the insured has added the Lower Electronics Deductible endorsement to their GEICO policy.

$100: The deductible paid by a GEICO marine insured on a claim relating to the theft/damage of a dinghy and/or the dinghy’s motor when the insured has added the Lower Dinghy Deductible endorsement to their GEICO boat policy

Government Advocacy

1: National boat-owner organizations with a full-time government affairs staff

16: Individual legislative and boating community issues, from E15 ethanol fuel and boating-access issues to aids to navigation, funding for small harbors, recreational fishing, boating-safety education and U.S. Coast Guard funding that BoatUS Government Affairs works on in an average month

294: Groups, organizations, government agencies, and legislative leaders BoatUS works with in an average year to support boaters’ interests

1,597,891: Email action alerts sent to BoatUS members advising them of important issues they should be aware of and act on

361: Federal and state agency meetings, boating coalition meetings and events BoatUS Government Affairs staff attended to advocate for the interests of boat owners

60: Official letters to agencies and officials to recognize and support recreational boat owner interests on a range of federal issues from fuel policy to local boating access

47,982: Boater comments generated in 2019 by BoatUS Government Affairs action alerts and directed at federal legislators urging reform for the government-mandated Renewable Fuel Standard

$19 million: The approximate funds available for FY 2022 to local governments, port agencies, public and private marinas, and boat clubs under the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, which BoatUS first championed through Congress in 1998

$170.3 billion: The economic impact of “boating/fishing,” the largest conventional activity for the nation as a whole, surpassing RVing, motorcycling, hunting, and snow activities

Boating Safety and Clean Water

16: The number of advanced online training courses offered by the BoatUS Foundation, from “How to use GPS” to “Weather for Boaters”

2,008,126: Students who have taken the BoatUS Foundation’s free online Boating Safety Course to date, which provides the required boating safety certification for recreational boaters in 36 states

1,787: Students who completed the BoatUS Foundation’s On-Water Training Courses that provide affordable at-the-helm instruction

1,815: Marina staff trained through the free BoatUS Foundation Spill Prevention Training for Marinas online course

595: Locations across the United States where you can borrow child-size life jackets for free from the BoatUS Foundation’s Kids Life Jacket Loaner Program

38: The number times a BoatUS Foundation staff member jumped overboard to test electronic man overboard (MOB) devices for Foundation Findings #58: Crew Overboard Alert Devices

10: The average length of time in days an Emergency Position-Indicating Rescue Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is rented from the BoatUS Foundation EPIRB Rental Program

1,389: The total length in feet of all boats donated to the BoatUS Foundation Boat Donation Program last year.


606: Employees at the 65,000-square-foot GEICO | BoatUS National Headquarters and GEICO insurance sales, claims and member service operations in Springfield, Virginia; 24-hour nationwide dispatch and service center in Jacksonville, Florida; and at the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland

27: Volunteer (unpaid) positions BoatUS management holds in an average year on outside boating-related advisory boards, professional associations and philanthropic organizations


Suggested Tweet and Facebook post:

Here’s a look at a few numbers behind the more than 800,000-member Boat Owners Association of The United States (@BoatUS) @BoatUSFoundation #boating #sailing #fishing #bythenumbers

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